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How Period Stigma in Muslim and South Asian Communities Impacts Menstrual Health

In the summer of 2017, I was fourteen, and it was Ramadan. I remember a friend telling me she pretends to fast when she is on her period, so her dad and brother won’t know she is menstruating (during Ramadan, women do not have to fast when on their menstrual cycle). 

This meant she would wake up at 2:30am to eat with her family for the meal at dawn, then proceed to eat throughout the day in private, without anyone knowing. I was shocked, the thought of doing this seemed ridiculous to me. What was so shameful, or disgusting about periods which meant it had to be hidden from her own father?